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The Naked Kiss (Criterion Collection) back to product details

Lurid! Campy! God-Damned Good!
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written by talltale August 3, 2006 - 4:38 PM PDT
Leave it to Sam Fuller. Who else might combine pederasty, prostitution, physical rehab for kids and salvation for adults into one shocking, funny, jaw-dropping "camp" fest. (And this was back in 1964, before Hollywood adopted the rating system and began making slightly more adult movies.) I'm sure Fuller didn't intend his film as camp at the time, but that's what it is today. Still, damn it all, the guy's such a good moviemaker that he carries you right along, from that breathless lulu of an opening to his leading lady's switch from bad girl to good, her "encounter" with the madam, and a musical number that would not be out of place in "The Sound of Music."

THE NAKED KISS is so enjoyable and surprising that it lands smack dab in the must-see realm. (And Criterion has given it the classy DVD rehabilitation it so richly deserves.) I recall it as amazing back in the 60s, and it remains so today (if for different reasons). The gorgeous and statuesque Constance Towers proves the perfect choice to play Kelly, Anthony Eisley is properly macho/nasty as her cop nemesis and the creepily pretty Michael Dante makes a wonderfully wrong Mr. Right. And through it all shines Fuller's insistence on honesty and second chances. Watch for Russ Meyer's own Edy Williams in a small but "prominent" role. Golly gumdrops: this one's FUN!

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(Average 7.21)
130 Votes
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